Fremantle City Tourist Walk
27th April 2015
All Year Round
Directions - The entry/exit to the Queensgate Car Park is located on Henderson Street near the Fremantle Markets. I picked this as the start/finish as it's one of the easiest and plentiful place to park in Fremantle.
The Walk - Fremantle is one of the oldest cities in Australia and its rich history means there are plenty of interesting things to do and see. Whether you after a delicious bite to eat, a great coffee, local arts & crafts or just like wondering around fascinating old buildings then Fremantle is for you. It may not be a large urban centre but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for with an abundance of character, charm and culture. So if you are from out of town and looking for something to do or live in Perth and haven't discovered what Fremantle has to offer then grab your walking shoes and head into the centre of Fremantle for a lazy morning or afternoon. The starting point I have chosen is the brightly coloured multi-storey Queensgate car park located right next to the Fremantle Markets. At the time it was painted it was the largest public artwork in the Southern Hemisphere.
Once you have parked make your way to the southern exit (closest to the markets). Make your way down William St and make a right turn at the Fremantle Public Library. Keep going until you reach MANY 6160. This used to be the Myer building but since Myer left the bottom floor has been converted to an open retail space for independent stalls. This arrangement is only temporary until work begins on the Kings Square Redevelopment. Within the current version of Kings Square is the beautiful old St John's Anglican Church and the Fremantle City Council building. Head towards to Fremantle City Council building and continue through the High St Mall. Once you have perused through the speciality stores in the mall cross Market St and continue walking west on High St. The National Hotel on the corner of High St & Market St was recently been restored to its former glory and is well worth checking out if you are after a bite to eat or a sneaky beverage or two. High St is a perfect blend of old Fremantle with the new age vibe that is now associated with the port city. In old colonial façade limestone buildings is housed a collection of galleries, bookstores, backpackers, cafes and fashion boutiques. As you walk further down High St some of the buildings are owned by Notre Dame University and have been converted to lecture halls or tutorial classrooms.
At the end of High St is one of the most recognisable buildings in Fremantle, The Round House. I won't tell you too much about this place as there are plenty of information boards around the area to tell you the rich history of the area. Cross the disused railway and climb up the stairs to where The Round House gazes out over the Indian Ocean. The whole area has been redeveloped into an arts hub with many of the surrounding buildings housing galleries and art displays. The Round House itself is set above the limestone cliffs and offers views over the Indian Ocean, Bathers Beach and Fishing Boat Harbour. This is one of many great spots to watch the famous West Australian sunset. Once you have soaked in the history and the views head back down the stairs you came up and walk south until you reach the Whalers Tunnel. Again there are info boards telling you the history so I won't spoil it but the tunnel itself is carved out of the limestone and takes you on to Bathers Beach, a sandy white enclave perfect for a sun bake or a picnic of fish and chips (Sweetlips will sort you out for that). If the beach isn't your thing then the new boardwalk area at Bathers Beach will not disappoint. The recent work to expand the boardwalk area and make it more inviting as a public space has transformed the area from what it used to be. Those of an older vintage will remember the McDonalds that used to reside here and how closed off the area was. There is plenty for the kids to do here and another great spot to enjoy the sunset with a beverage in hand if you visit Bathers Beach House.